| Saleng Sangma at Raj Bhavan in Shillong on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Shillong, July 23: An Independent legislator has lodged a complaint with Meghalaya governor Krishan Kant Paul on the alleged “nonchalant attitude” of chief minister Mukul Sangma, and has termed Sangma an “absentee chief minister”.
The legislator has also indicated his readiness to visit New Delhi to seek imposition of President’s rule in the state in view of the prevailing law and order in Garo hills.
Saleng A. Sangma, the Independent legislator representing Gambegre constituency in the West Garo Hills, met Paul at the Raj Bhavan today to submit the complaint.
“I have to admit with a heavy heart that I am being forced to write this letter to you after having observed the nonchalant attitude of the chief minister, which has undoubtedly affected the work culture in our state,” the legislator stated in the complaint letter to Paul.
Saleng stated that ever since Sangma took over as the chief minister in April 2010, it was observed that the chief minister’s office has been one of the least functioning offices in Meghalaya courtesy the regular absence of the occupant of the high office.
“This unhealthy culture is occurring amid the prevailing turmoil and the fragile law and order situation in the Garo hills region. It has also affected the smooth functioning of the government in carrying out various tasks, especially those relating to the rural areas of the state,” he added.
Stating that the chief minister has kept several portfolios to himself, Saleng said the regular absence of the chief minister has affected the functioning of other departments looked after by other cabinet ministers.
The chief minister has kept to himself key portfolios like agriculture, horticulture, mining and geology, commerce and industries, finance, and planning.
“If he (chief minister) continues to function in this manner, he may very well entrust other cabinet ministers with the key portfolios,” Saleng said.
Going by the facts, he said it would not be out of place to describe Sangma, the head of the government, as an “absentee chief minister”.
“If the head of the government continues to play truant, it would not be difficult to imagine the state of affairs and the work culture in the state secretariat and elsewhere,” Saleng said.
The legislator, therefore, sought the intervention of the governor in the matter.
It is not the first time that the Opposition has trained its guns on the chief minister for his absence from the state. Some Opposition legislators had even termed him a “visiting chief minister”.
Commenting on the law and order in Garo hills, Saleng, who was a victim of militant attacks in the past, said it was startling to note that people of Assam were demanding President’s rule in Meghalaya.
While recalling President’s rule in 2009 when R.S. Mooshahary was governor, he said the delivery mechanism during that period was optimal.
“If I visit New Delhi, I would seek the Centre’s intervention and ask for the imposition of President’s rule in the state,” Saleng said.